tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN August 18, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
an protected animal. already convicted of being the hardest partying dudes ever on the riduculist. thanks for watching. >> "outfront" next, just moments ago, paul ryan released these, hello, tax returns. is mitt romney going to give us any more? and facebook shares hit a brand-new low. so is mark zuckerberg in own his head? plus, the first pictures of jesse jackson jr. since he's been hospitalized for bipolar depression. we're going to talk to patrick kennedy who just visited with him and says he has a long way to go. let's take you "outfront." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening. i'm ashleigh banfield in for erin burnett tonight. "outfront" tonight, paul ryan's tax returns fresh off the press, folks.
the documents show that mr. ryan and his wife, jana, paid an effective tax rate of 15.9% in 2010 and a whopping 20% in 2011. the tax returns were first obtained by the milwaukee sentinel. this is the washington bureau chief and he's covered ryan extensively. he's on the phone live to talk about this breaking news. i have not had a chance to read through them because, quite frankly, it's hard to make sense out of. what did you see in the tax returns? >> well, a little over half his income comes from his congressional salary. there's a considerable amount of outside income, from, you know, assets holding, some in his family, but particularly in his wife's family. she come from a well-to-do family and there's some real estate money, real estate income, and nothing in mitt
romney's league, but certainly enough to put their wealth and their income well above average. >> can you go in a little bit more into his wife's holdings? i think people are usually fascinated when they find out that the money comes more from one side or the other. what kind of things? >> well, there's a trust there. there's some business partnerships and there's some oil and gas royalties. the income in 2011 -- in that category of income, that was over $100,000, so, you know, it's -- like i said, it's not mitt romney's league. as long as he does it -- he and his campaign don't oversell him as average middle class guy -- >> hey -- >> i think they're okay -- >> good point. >> but i think they have to be careful about that.
>> he comes across as the every man on this campaign. i'm looking at 15.9% and 20% in taxes. that's more than what the every man pays in taxes. is he going to come across as the every man? or is he going to come across as a rich guy? or is any of this going to matter? >> i think we see the battle to define him right now. even in the press accounts, in some accounts, he's been described as the heir to this massive fortune related to his family, which runs a big earth moving company, but that goes back a few generations and he's not directly tied to that. he does have some trust, they're not massive. but i think, you know, he's somewhere in that gray area between middle class and rich, and i don't think he had, by all accounts, an upbringing like mitt romney of, you know, real privilege but --
>> craig, just quickly. we only got two years -- i got five seconds left. two years of taxes. no word he's going to release more, right? the. >> i would be shocked if they release more. >> good to talk to you. i know that was a quick call. it's breaking news. so thanks for being with us tonight. appreciate it. the taxes have been the talk all day. despite the fact we just got these. earlier, the obama campaign tried to make a deal with mitt romney. over the tax returns. the obama team actually challenged mitt romney, a full challenge, release just five, five years, of your tax returns, not the whole ten we've been demanding, hammering you so to speak and, you know what, we'll just drop this whole issue. give us five, we'll give you nothing. does that sound too good to be true? that might have been what the romney campaign thought too. you be the judge. because here's their response. virtually a thanks but no thanks. the romney campaign manager, matt rhoads said this, it is clear president obama wants nothing more than to talk about governor romney's tax returns
instead of the issues that matter to voters like putting americans back to work. fixing the economy. and reining in spending. but if mr. romney wanted this issue to die, why would he finally announce yesterday that he's paid at least 13% in taxes for the last ten years? and then go even further and say this? >> but every year i paid at least 13%. and if you add, in addition, the amount that goes to charity, the number gets well above 20%. >> ah. my esteemed colleague erin burnett, she saw this coming, and she went ahead and did the charity math on mitt's taxes back on july 16th. take a peek. it is true that mitt romney gave $7 million to charity in the the two years that i held up. that's 2010 and 2011. now, that's 16.4% of his income. it is more than he paid in federal taxes.
now, keep the screen up because i want to show you this. it's not like he sat there and hoarded the money he didn't pay to uncle sam. he gave enough away to make his rate, well, 31%, greater than the 30% that president obama should be the minimum rate for wealthy americans. if you look at it that way, mitt's taxes add up just fine. >> okay, good work, erin. he is far from seizing the narrative. right now when it comes to his taxes, by showing a little leg, 13% of his leg, so to speak, he's really been keeping the story going. so if mitt doesn't want to take erin's advice, that's fine, we get it. but perhaps mitt romney might consider taking his own advice. you bet. we got some tape. here's what the candidates said. as reported by -- i said tape, we have some ink. "the boston globe" in 1984 said this when he was challenging ted kennedy for his senate seat. are you ready? here he goes.
it's time the biggest taxing senator in washington shows the people of massachusetts how much he pays in taxes, end quote. that's what the paper said. it went on to say that mitt romney would disclose his own state and federal taxes for the last three years on the very day that kennedy turns over his taxes for public scrutiny. romney chided kennedy for never releasing his state or federal taxes in the 32 years that he served in the senate. yeah, we have the google and we have video and this stuff can really come back to bite you. or does it? mckay could beens is from buzz feed.com. erick erickson from red state.com. also cnn contributor jamal simmons, a democratic strategist. jamal, i want to start with you. this deal or no deal, five years, busting it down, and saying we'll give you a break on the other five years. what is this chess game about? why five years? what's five years to the obama camp that ten years is not?
why cave? >> well what it looks like is the obama campaign is saying to them, listen, you don't want to give ten, then give us five, give us four, give us six. pick a number more than two and tell us. but you can't run around, running around for president, trying to decide what the american people need to know. the truth is, candidates don't get to decide what's important to voters. apparently this is important because it started to chip away at romney's credibility with the voters. it seemed like romney would just want to get it out, out of the way and get moving. meanwhile, you've got ann romney saying we don't want to tell you because then you'll attack us for that. well, that's kind of how it works. if you've got something in there worth being attacked for, then you should be prepared to get attacked and be prepared to respond to that. >> erick erickson, wasn't this fuel to the fire, just drop it in in a sound bite? look, i went over my last ten years, i paid 13%, let's move on. he had to know no one was going to move on with that little taste.
>> well, but, ashleigh, they're not going to move on -- >> how do you know? >> look, mitt romney inherited a fortune -- because this is what they do. look the democrats have been saying for weeks they want to talk about issues -- >> the democrats aren't the only ones who are asking for this -- you know full well there are huge-name republicans asking for it too. when you say they -- >> oh, absolutely. >> -- which they are you talking about? >> well, i'm talking about the democratic party. the one who decided they want to talk about medicare but will instead talk about taxes. the ones who say they'll talk about jobs but instead want to talk about the dog on top of the car. look, the bigger question i would have if the democrats really want to talk about rich people and taxes, how is it mitt romney could give away an entire family fortune, remake it, and then a guy like harry reid, who's a poor guy, becomes a senator, suddenly is living in the ritz carlton? if the democrats want to play the game with mitt's tax, let's
ask how many went to the senate and became multiuntil fairs there. >> i take your point but i take issue when you say they. george will, bill krytsal. the list goes on and on and on brit hume, fox news, for crying out loud. >> if he releases five years in tax, suddenly the democrats are going to say -- >> oh, for heaven sake, richard nixon had tax problem, erick erickson, it is a fair question in politics today. >> ashleigh, you would be making it the lead story of your news show and mitt romney had a tax shelter somewhere -- >> it would go away in two days. >> no, it wouldn't. they would turn it into attack ads. then you would cover the attack ads. then you'd have all the independent panel to wring their hands about it. it's not going to go away. >> mckay, jump in on this. get me off the ledge. you're a practicing mormon. you tithe 10%?
>> i do. >> mitt romney tithes 10%, sometimes more. his charitable contributions in the two years we know about were huge. i mean, it's more money -- he gave away more money than i will ever make in my lifetime. >> right, sure. >> why doesn't he just ham they're hammer that narrative? it's going to make people love him. >> you would think so. he's very reluctant to talk about his faith. he gave away $3 million to charity, half of which went to the mormon church. that is the conservative ideal. that went to supporting one of the largest wefare programs that's privately run in the country, and yet he doesn't want to talk about that, he refuses to kind of seize that narrative, as erin talks about. it comes back to one of the fundamental questions of this campaign. when will he let voters see this part of him that has been active in the mormon church his whole life? he doesn't want to talk about
it, and that holds him back in a lot of areas as well. >> ashleigh, i have to take a little exception here. >> fast, i've got less than a minute. >> some of the money he gave away was places like the george bush presidential library. not exactly a social society program. obama gave away enough money to -- >> jamal did you give 10 prgs of your income to your church? >> no, not to my church. >> neither did i. you and i can't talk any more about that -- >> absolutely, we certainly can't, because taxes -- separation of church and state -- >> tomorrow on the next cnn block on this because i got a bunch more blocks to go. look, i do want to say that bill krystal is the one who said this thing will go away, take a hit or two. release the tax returns and move on. eric, mckay and jamal, thank you. it is true, we could go on and on. i have to move on. there are a couple of things big in the news today. facebook shares. facebook now trading at half of its ipo price.
is it time for this company to look for a new ceo, maybe one who wears a suit? i'll talk about that in a moment. it's not a joke. and a controversial russian rock band, punk rock band, getting the support of madonna and other big name stars, but convicted of something called hooliganism. i'm not making this up. hooliganism. they're going to prison for it. also what did missy franklin and mitt romney have in common? it's adorable. [ male announcer ] this is the land of giants. ♪ home of the brave. ♪ it's where fear goes unwelcomed... ♪ and certain men... find a way to rise above. this is the land of giants. ♪ guts. glory. ram.
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our second story "outfront," facebook's fickle friends. it's hard to believe nearly three years ago to the day we were talking about one of the most anticipated ipos of all time. oh, the days. what a difference a few months can make, right. today, that stock hit another all-time low, down more than 4%. closing at $19.05. if you're doing the math at hope, it's nearly 50% from its debut price.
that's what you call yucky. and that kind of hit is spawning some serious questions about the company and its 28-year-old leader mark zuckerberg. just take a look at the bruising headlines that came outed. "l.a. times" saying, is mark zuckerberg in over his hoody as facebook ceo? this paper says, does facebook stock ceo need adult supervision? and facebook investors cash out. that last headline's from "the wall street journal" which also reports that zuckerberg told his employees it's been, quote, painful to see the stock drop. i'll bet. "outfront" tonight, shandi rice, the reporter who report that article. also, the former managing editor of "the wall street journal." also an author and "newsweek" columnist and smart cookie altogether. shandi, you were writing this article. it looks real personal.
he was loathe to talk with his employees about stock prices heretofore, yet he hammered away in this meeting according to your writing. does this mean the criticism might be getting to him? >> i don't think the headlines are getting to him. i think he might be concerned it is getting to employees. i think he wants to make sure that before it gets too bad, he addresses the employees and he tells them that this isn't something they should be worried about. so, when he says it's painful, he's saying, i acknowledge this is painful for some of you. then he goes on to say, but you should know this company has plans that are going to make sure we fulfill all of our expectations. you know what's going on internally what our plans are, and that's all that matters, and we don't ware what the press says. so it's still somewhat of a defensive stance. it's not like he's saying this is so hard for me to watch. and i can't believe this is
happening to our company. and i'm so upset. it's just the opposite. he's saying i understand that it may be painful for you but be strong. >> interesting. joanne, i remember watching the video back in may, where this veritable rock star was try to get himself through the hoards of media that turned out for a measly old ipo road show. look at this. here he is is security surrounding him, cameras jostling, and he's wearing a hoody and t-shirt and sneakers. here's the deal though. while that may not be such a big deal to some people, to people in the business of this, it is, because optics are important. so, joanne, did he do a stupid thing by showing up like this? >> first of all, the wardrobe i think is really beside the point. i mean, he is -- >> isn't it a statement? you know, i'm not taking you seriously? >> yeah, you know what, he's a brilliant guy. he is the visionary behind this company. what he is not, your question is
getting to, what he is not, ceo material. >> that's what i mean. >> he is not a guy who imka up dealing with investors and dealing with shareholders. he's the visionary. he's got the ideas. i think the question investors are raising now, it's a good question, is he the guy, now, who should be dealing with shareholders? the ceo job is such a different job than being the company's visionary. it's a really tough grind. >> finicky investors and relationships. >> your boss is suddenly shareholders. he keeps saying he doesn't care about, right? your boss is shareholders. the board. all these things you don't care about. i first met mark zuckerberg i want to say maybe five years ago. it was a wall street conference full of bankers. and he was wearing the hoody. >> of course. >> and the flip-flops. he was still on leave from harvard. none of the -- it was filled with bankers. none of them talked to him. he didn't talk to any of them. this is not --
>> once you get ready for prime time, even steve jobs knew to take the mock turtle neck off and put the business suit on when he did his road show and met with investors. >> i disagree. i don't think it's about the wardrobe. i do think it's about the job and where your mind-set is. >> if i showed up in a t-shirt, i would never be able to host erin burnett again, trust me. i hear your point. shayndi and joanne, both, i appreciate that very much. coming up, patrick kennedy on his close friend jesse jackson jr. he's just visited him in the hospital where he's been treated for bipolar depression. also, police have released some brand-new dash cam video in that really mysterious case of travis carter. does it clear up anything about how he ended up shot in the temple, even though his hands were cuffed behind his back and the police are saying he committed suicide? you know, just while we're in commercial break, put your hands
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you know, it probably wouldn't be a surprise to a lot of people that 17-year-old missy franklin, whose team usa golden girl's swimmer, is a big fan of "the hunger games" books. here's somebody who might surprise you. mitt romney according to "the new york times," that 65-year-old would apparently wind down his long days on the campaign trail with "the hunger games." his personal assistant actually refers to those books as mitt's
fun books. which is kind of weird because it is actually dark. it portrays a post apocalyptic america where children fight for survival and kill each other. maybe mitt can relate because this reminds him of the fighting and mudslinging on the campaign trail. because both parties do that. the point is missy franklin and mitt romney are really on to something big here. we all know that the hunger games movie has done incredibly well. grossing more than $407 million. it is undoubtedly what's helped those books too along the way. they've become so popular that amazon announced today the hunger games is now the site's best selling book series of all time. it's even topping harry potter. and guess what, it's topping 50 shades of gray. so what this means is that more and more hunger games readers are getting their fix through e-books. that brings us to tonight's number. 3.7.
turns out there's more three times more the number of electronic books sold on amazon than hard copies when it comes to the hunger games. so mitt romney, you are definitely not alone, if the hunger games and your fan club are all on the same page here. but if you really want what your personal assistant calls the fun book, i've heard 50 shades of gray kind of fits that bill. "outfront," an update on a man who said progressive insurance actually helped to defend his sister's killer. also, a controversial russian punk rock band jailed for two years. some say just because they insulted president putin. does the punishment actually fit the crime? we'll find out more details.
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an "outfront" update now on a story we first brought to you on wednesday. it's the story of matt fisher. he wrote a blog post titled my sister paid progressive insurance to defend her killer in court. well, today, the family's attorney, allen cohen, tells us that the family has reached a settlement with the insurance company, progressive.
he would not give us an exact amount. just saying it was the tens of thousands of dollars. and that it was more than the claim balance that the family was originally seeking. let me take you to our third story "outfront" tonight. police suicide or police cover-up? suicide or cover-up? really? jonesboro police now releasing new dash cam video today to help clear up the mystery surrounding death of 21-year-old travis carter. carter was arrested for marijuana possession back on july 29th. he died from a duane shot wound to the temple while hand coughed in the back of the police cruiser. police have said that carter shot himself in a suicide. again, even though his wrists were coughed behind his back. the family says that is not true. he say they believe that the police killed him. and that the police are actually trying to cover all of this up. so, let's take a closer look at
the actual brand-new video and what, if anything, it tells us. well, my goodness, that's hard to tell much of anything. turns out the cruisers were kind of pointing the opposite way. but the police report originally said travis gave them a fake name. on the tape, you and actually hear him stating his name. the police tape stops before the gunshots go off so we don't get that much. from memphis, tennessee now, benjamin erwin joins us. he's a civil attorney for travis' mother and grandmother. thanks for being with us. we struggled to listen to a lot of it. did you find anything? >> i think the problem actually is something you said a minute
ago, not really sure what was there, nothing different than what we had. it's a whole lot of nothing. a lot of quantity but no quality of information. what we really need to see is what happened during those crucial moments when travis lost his life in the back of that car. how did he get in there? how did a gun get in there? where did the gun come from? how does someone search a kid twice and still -- they're saying the gun was with him. how does it still get in the back seat of that car? there's so many questions left to be answered. >> travis' mother has clearly said there's no way her son committed suicide in the back of that car. critic, have said there's no way you can do this with your hands behind your back. our randi kaye asked the police chief about it. here's how he answered that question. how on earth could you actually do this? >> the average person that's never been in handcuffs, that's never been around inmates and people in custody, would react exactly the same way that you
just did, about how can that be possible? well, the fact of it is, it's very possible, and it's quite easy. >> well, as randi kaye did that report, they decided later, a couple days later to actually release a video to show how physically possible this would be. let's roll the video so our viewers can watch it as well if they missed it. they've got a guy who is the same height, weight, build, cuffed, actually using the same model of a weapon. he's pulling the gun around from the back of his head and modelling that you can see it is physically possible to do this. so here's my question for you, sir, is it possible that perhaps people haven't been discussing that not only might this not have been an intentional suicide, maybe it was an accidental suicide? maybe he was trying to hide the gun? isn't that plausible, sir? >> i think the bigger issue is how did we let a gun in this car? we don't know if it came from
travis. we don't know if it came in later. as far as the video, that's one of the best stunts i've seen in a while. we don't know anything about who this was. they could be double jointed. we have no idea. it wouldn't even matter. you and i both know that what matters is what could travis do? that's the facts of the case that relate to that. as far as what anybody else could do, that's irrelevant for the matter. >> all right. i'll tell you what, there is one thing that will clear all of of this up. once the forensics come in on this case, we'll know a whole lot more. any kind of blood spatter. the positioning of the bullet, the temple. the forensics tell a very different story so once that happens i think you and i should have another conversation. >> absolutely, we look forward to it. we want the truth out there. the family needs the truth. they need closure on this issue and we hope that jonesboro police department will keep releasing information so we can get to the bottom of issue which
is justice. >> thank you, benjamin erwin, i'm glad you brought that up. the police department did release what they say is the rest of the dash cam video and we're going to bring our viewers an update just as soon as we can look through it, see if there's any more telling information. thank you, sir. three members of the russian female punk rock band pussy riot were found guilty today of something the russians like to call hooliganism. that's the official charge. hooliganism. they were sentenced to two years in prison for it. the charges stem from a performance that they gave. look at it. it's on the alter of the christ savior cathedral in moscow. the song they were performing included the lyrics mother mary, please drive putin away. interesting. political lyrics. the case has garnered international criticism of president putin's intolerance for political opposition. here's what the white house said in reaction today.
>> the united states is disappointed by the verdict. we have serious concerns about the way these young women -- about the way these young women had been treated by the russian judicial system. >> well, "outfront" tonight, miriam elder, correspondent for britain's "guardian" newspaper. i spoke to her earlier. i started by asking her what it was like in the courtroom when the verdict came down. >> the main obviously subject of the room was the three women who were sitting in a glass cage on the left-hand side of the room. what was strange this time is the handcuffs were left on them as they were sitting inside this glass cage. and they sort of just stared ahead the entire time the judge was reading through the verdict and the sentencing. as it became clear that the judge was finishing up, there were just some shouts of shame, shame in the courtroom, led by a big opposition leader here. >> it's so odd to look at the images of them in the cage. hand coughs or no handcuffs. our first degree murderers in
the united states at least get their handcuffs off in front of a jury and they certainly are not caged. all this for a charge called hooliganism. it sounds comedic here. what actually is it? >> hooliganism is one of these charges that's really liked and used by the russian government. the other one is a charge called extremism. and basically there are no laws on the books saying you can't criticize putin or you can't behave in a certain way politically. but there are these laws against hooliganism and against extremism used by the government whenever they feel the need to crack down on certain opponents or certain critics. that's what we've seen happen in this case. so the women performed an anti-putin punk song in a church and, therefore, have been charged with being hooligans. >> it harkens me back to the old ussr or at least the last days of it, 1991, where this might have been the kind of charge they might have used regularly back then. not now in 2012.
>> yeah, but actually even back then, you know, it was formally forbidden to criticize the government. so it was sort of a more honest system. in this case, you formally, you know, rhetorically have democracy and democratic institutions in russia, but all kind of under the cover of these laws just like hooliganism that can be sort of picked up and used whenever the government deems necessary. >> let's talk a little bit about the church. as i understand it, their hooliganism, according to the allegations, is they were doing this kind of action in a church and that might have been an affront to the religion itself or to the church itself. is there any connection with this church and president putin? >> well, that's precisely what the three women were trying to expose. that's what they say they were trying to expose. very close ties between the government and between the russian orthodox church. the head of the russian orthodox church, the patriarch, said last
year that putin was a miracle of god. in the lead-up to the controversial elections we had in march, the presidential elections, he repeatedly came out to support vladimir putin. this is what really upset the women. they emerged as part of this greater protest movement against putin. so this particular protest was their way of showing why is the church basically campaigning for a certain candidate? >> so back in '05 there was another high-profile imprisonment of the billionaire -- you'll have to pardon my pronunciation, mikhael. it turns out his sentence was about being 12 years. they got two years. he got 12 years. did they get off lightly? >> the first one shows the goals -- the first round of putin's presidency. this attempt to kind of get the very rich people, the oligarchs of russia under control, and to
get rid of potential political opponents. whereas this trial is really against sort of grassroots dissidents against him. >> from what i gather, this is sort of a two-pronged effort by president putin, number one, to send messages to protesters out there, that this can happen. number two, to really curry favor with this church. does he care at all about the outrage that's either in his country or outside his country? >> he hasn't shown any sign of outrage yet. there's even been talk it can work to his advantage. these protests that broke out in russia in december and carried on through the winter and the spring and are due to rise up again soon, putin came out and blamed them on the u.s. state department, blamed them on hillary clinton. so once you have all these western stars coming out in support of pussy riot and people, you know, rallying all over the world, this can kind of feed into that narrative of, look, while we told you this was all a plot of the west to bring russia to her knees. >> from "the guardian" newspaper, mar yam, thank you very much.
appreciate it. we have some new pictures of jesse jackson jr. we're going to talk with his good friend, former congressman patrick kennedy, about how jesse jackson jr. is doing currently. we also have some new pictures from mars, from the rover curiosity. if you're curious, we got some good stuff coming. fore!
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...we inspected his brakes for free. free is good. free is very good. my money. my choice. my meineke. our fourth story "outfront," new pictures of congressman jesse jackson jr. the illinois democrat has not been seen on capitol hill since may. because he's undergoing treatment for bipolar depression at the mayo clinic. but one man who has seen him is his good friend, former congressman patrick kennedy. they actually melt at the rochester minnesota facility yesterday. and "outfront" tonight, former congressman of rhode island patrick kennedy joins us live. sir, thanks so much for being with us. how is he >> well, he looks good, but as you know, these are mental illnesses, so you can't see them. our veterans suffer from them
because of traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress. and we call then the invisible wounds of war. not only do our veterans but all americans suffer from mental illnesses because we all have a brain. our brain like every organ in the body sometimes gets sick. because it's our brain, we stigmatize the illness. in jesse's case, he is suffering from a behavioral symptom. and that is depression, which doesn't allow him to really work to his maximum capacity. that's why he's in an inpatient facility at mayo clinic. but if he was there for cancer, you wouldn't be doing this show tonight. most americans wouldn't care because they'd say, well, jesse, go get the help. if you have cancer, get treated. but because jesse has a mental illness, as i do, myself, and is fighting for his recovery, it
somehow sparks this purant interest, because we have a fascination with mental illness, because it's something we don't understand very much in america -- >> i'm not so sure you can make that accusation fairly. he disappeared for a long time. there was quite a mystery about where he was and what was wrong. and now once america has found out that he is seeking treatment, i think there are a lot of americans who care deeply about how he's doing and we were hoping tonight you would be able to give us that insight and maybe tell me if he's going to be able to come back to capitol hill. can you tell me that? >> well, i can tell you that he's making his treatment a priority. and he has severe depression. deep, deep depression. as we know, ashleigh, suicide claims 36,000 americans lives every year. twice the number that are killed in homicides. so it is a big killer. an epidemic in this country. jesse is getting the help he needs. he needs to make that his priority. i am happy he is making it a
priority it not only for his own sake but for everybody who's watching, who also feels the shame and stigma of suffering from depression and a mental illness. so my salute is to jesse. now, the fact that jesse didn't talk about this as a mental illness early on is reminiscent of most american's experience. if you have a mental illness, you don't talk about it. and jesse is not alone in america for not wanting to talk about it. i didn't want to talk about it when i was in treatment myself. and i dare say most americans, if they suffer from a mental illness, don't want to talk about it. i think most americans care about what he's going through because they can identify what he's going through. obviously as a public official he has responsibilities to his district. i believe that in the short term, in the next couple of week, he will be addressing his constituents about what his intentions are as to whether he's going to continue in public life or whether he's going to continue to focus on his
long-term recovery. but i'm happy to report that he's beginning the journey of long-term recovery. and i am one of his biggest fans to begin that journey because i know in my own life and in other friends of mine who have been on the road to recovery, that it can be a successful -- if you focus and make your recovery your priority in life. >> as many fans as he has, there are certainly a lot of critics. when he disappeared, some people criticized jesse jackson jr., saying perhaps the involvement and the scrutiny with regard to the rod blagojevich scandal and any potential connections he might have to it caused stress and might have something to do with this. does he react in any way to those accusations? >> there's no doubt that the stress in his life, particularly because he's under investigation, clearly perhaps precipitated this. but that's the mystery that we're uncovering in mental illness.
many of us have genetic predispositions to cancer, heart disease or, in this case meant mental illness. stress is an environmental factor. clearly, i think that has been a factor in his succumbing to this outbreak of his bipolar disorder. >> well, former congressman patrick kennedy, i appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. i wish not only jesse jackson jr. good wishes in his recovery but you yourself, as you say you try to make your recovery from mental illness also. a big announcement from nasa today. we're going to take you to mars to show you some remarkable photos and talk rock vaporizing lasers. it's coming up.
our fifth story "outfront" tonight. a big announcement today. i am such a geek when it comes to space. the mars rover curiosity is finally ready to hit the road on mars. there are no roads on mars but it's going to hit the road anyway and it's going to show us what it can do, including rock vaporizing lasers. sweet. "outfront," dr. michael shera joins me. he's a geophysicist. smarter than anybody i know. what's it going to do?
because right up till now it's been getting its gears going. it's been figuring itself out. >> it's woken up. it's looking around. starting to take some really high resolution pictures. and we're going to start sampling some of the environment. >> where? what environment? where's it going? >> well, we're sitting at the bottom of what was probably an old lake a couple billion years ago. we're going to be moving in the next few daysweeks. start to get in line with a rock and fire that laser at it to vaporize it. >> these are new pictures that nasa's released. >> sure. the little spot there that says landing site is where they are. they're going to move over to something called glen. about 500 yards in the next couple of weeks. when they get to glen, they're going to be at the place where three different kinds of terrain meet. they'll sample both a place where there was water in the
past and a place where there wasn't. >> let's fly through some more photos. maybe you can tell me exactly what we're looking at. they call it still life. still life with the rover. what is the still life we're looking at? >> well, there's different things here that we're seeing. on this particular picture, we -- i think you have up right now. >> i'm hoping to get it up at some point. if we don't get it up digitally -- there it is, good. >> we've got the rover and it's got some stuff that's sitting on top of it. the next picture shows -- >> flat plains? >> that's right, where we're actually going. that's a picture that's almost 1 1/2 miles across. we can see the watery -- formally watery terrain it's going to be moving across. the his are often the size of three, four, five-story apartment buildings.